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.Shop Applicant Tells ICANN On String Similarity There Are Only 56 Unique Generic Strings

Posted on the 30 January 2013 by Worldwide @thedomains

A letter sent by one of the .Shop applicants to ICANN chats about what I see as the next big issue for the ICANN new gTLD process which is String Similarity.

The letter was written by Jeffrey Smith, CEO Commercial Connect, an applicant for .Shop, who not only applied for the new gTLD .Shop but was an applicant for .Shop way back in 2000,  we have edited the letter to keep it on point but you can read the entire letter here

The letter was sent to ICANN in November but just published on MyICANN.org today.

“We have identified concerns that we believe should be addressed to save significant time and effort on the part of ICANN as well as the 1900+ applicants of new gTLDs. It seems there are two major issues that need immediate attention.

The first issue is that of string similarity. Throughout the process, there has been an understanding that no new gTLD would be released that had similar meaning, sound, or appearance to any existing TLD. This has roots in protecting the end user from being confused about which TLD should be used and lends credibility to the intent of the process. The premise of keeping the internet a safe, secure and user friendly environment for all stakeholders supports this rule.

It seems that many influential entities and individuals have purposely tried to ignore and/or change this. It is clearly contained in the guidebook and should not be ignored nor downplayed for financial gain.

After many discussions and research, Commercial Connect LLC and eCommerce World Retailers along with various community members, ICANN members, applicants, consultants and academia collaborated and performed a mock similarity analysis on the new gTLD applications. Since there have been no defined rules/processes proposed, published, nor provided, this analysis was difficult. However, assuming a marginal allowance, you may find the results useful.This analysis removed some 647 unique branding applications as well as some 89 unique geographic applications and assumed that these TLDs would be granted as stated in the guidebook. This leaves only 966 applications for the “generic” TLDs.

We reviewed the strings for the 966 applicants and grouped by their meanings. For the purpose of the analysis, we treated the IDN the same as other applications. Of the 966 applications, only 56 appeared to be unique. In other words, there were only 56 words or “meanings” that were applied for.


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